CDN vs Cloud Computing: Their Similarities & Differences

It is in the fight for faster website content deliverability and reduced TTL (time-to-load) that two players, namely: CDN and Cloud Computing have risen to the top. That said, we’d like to tell you that even though it’s true that a content delivery network, or CDN, may look similar to a traditional cloud infrastructure but what differentiates the two are their purpose and goals.
cdn vs cloud computing

Without much ado, let’s understand more about these two.

What is CDN?
Basically, CDN, like we also mentioned above, is an abbreviation for content delivery network and as the name suggests, it almost always entails multiple computers spread all over the globe to deliver the content that you need.

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While internet delivers digital content globally, the time it takes for a user to access those resources can vary widely. The time taken in this process depends on the location of the servers that is storing the needed information and how far away it is from the user who makes a request to access it. To make it easier, when the content was brought closer to the user, it helped reduce network latency as data did not have to travel through vast geographic distances.

This is the reason why CDNs were developed – to deliver web data in a reasonable amount of time for all users, regardless of its geographic location. This is possible by duplicating digital content and placing that content on delivery servers housed at strategic physical locations across a large area. These distribution locations also called ‘points of presence’ or ‘POPs’, are interconnected and managed across a network so that content is rapidly updated.

So now, when users attempt to access content within a CDN, the platform directs them to the nearest POP with the requested information. This framework enables users to access content quickly and reduces network congestion during high demand

Also Read: What is Fog Computing?

What is Cloud Computing?
Lately, cloud computing has become quite pervasive thanks to faster internet speed and the rapidly evolving computer architecture. It can be defined as the delivery of computer services over the internet, including servers, databases, software, networking, and intelligence.

For years the conception around cloud computing was that it’s nothing more than a buzzword but its impact has been so significant that it literally defines the modern internet as we know of it today.

Cloud computing also entails elements such as hosted artificial intelligence, private and hosted servers, and, most importantly, virtualization.

The Similarities and Differences between CDN and Cloud Computing

Cloud computing and CDNs are similar because they each serve content from geographically distributed servers. But this is also where they vary: A CDN delivers content as quickly as possible, while cloud computing is based on flexibility, scalability and on-demand delivery of applications and data.

Data access is a concern for cloud computing, but it’s a much lower priority for these providers. And it often relies on different techniques to ensure remote users get the information they need.

A CDN also closely resembles today’s edge computing architecture rather than a traditional cloud computing framework. In fact, like CDNs, edge computing is built on offering users, wherever they may be and with low-latency access to resources.

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